Killing Time - Thrashed From The Vault Compilation - Reviewed by Contaminated Tones! Check it out here at this link: https://contaminatedtones.blogspot.com/2020/11/killing-time-thrashed-from-vault.html
Often, there is not much substance to a compilation; collections of disparate tracks from unrelated bands with no context uniting them beyond the umbrella term of 'Metal'. However, there are compilations which are deserving of deeper analysis whether it be for historical reasons, such as the Metal Massacre series, rarity and release-specific tracks, such as Born To Metalize or From The Megavault (both 80's comps those), or time and setting specialized comps such as Eastern Front - Live at Ruthie's Inn (necessary ownership and listening for fans of the west coast thrash scene of the 80's). Finding one which serves all three of these purposes is like stumbling upon the compilation equivalent of a pot of gold. Not only is the material offered on Killing Time one of the few places I've seen covering the late 80's Florida Thrash scene which was simply run over by the Floridian Death Metal juggernaut, and not only are there some tracks not available anywhere else or unlikely to be found due to demo and promotional tape rarity, and not only is this a re-release of a long-out of print compilation from the time period, but it is all of these in one. Thus, it is deserving of the attention of those self-ascribed metal scholars who hunt in all the crevices for the flecks of obscurity.
Killing Time: Thrashed From The Vault, released by Florida's own Thrashback Records, is a re-release of a 1992 compilation called Unsigned III: Killing Time. The tracks have all been remastered from original source tape. Unfortunately, three songs from the original were switched out for this release and I'm a little conflicted by this. The replacement tracks - those from Amboog-a-lard, Royal Anguish, and Final Prophecy are all great tracks and worthy of being excavated from the dusty shackles of oblivion, however gone are the original tracks from Unwillful Demise, Blind White, and More, bands which I can't find a single thing about anywhere. So for me, at least, these tracks are lost. The Amboog-a-lard and Final Prophecy tracks are not unique to this release and so, in my eyes, there may be a net-loss ultimately in some bizarre mathematical realm where compilations are judged by the availability of their otherwise disembodied contents.
For me, the fact that a great majority of these bands were entirely unknown was incredibly appealing. Other than Solstice who several years ago had a resurgence of interest which included local and national touring I had no listening experience with any of the bands. Raped Ape and Tempus Fugit were names I had seen in thank you-lists or old show flyers before somewhere. Otherwise, I was willingly oblivious and had no expectations of the quality of the material present. I'm by no means an expert on the late 80's early 90's Floridian scene beyond the inevitable accumulated historical influences. Being able to build on this knowledge of that period with this type of a release serves a major purpose to these type of compilations which might not get filled in otherwise. The inclusion of a small history for each band, as well as a central foldout of old show flyers is a perfect complement to this. If there were a little more information or anecdotes from the musicians themselves, that would have made the documentation in the booklet more fully rounded out.
Admittedly, there is some noticeable range in the quality present musically. Kryptic Kurse comes across as a mostly washed out hollow Anthrax clone to my ears or F.O.S.'s offering with too-thin guitars, mediocre riffs, and a vocalist who channels Bobby Blitz too closely for a Jersey guy like myself to find acceptable. Solstice's addition, "Netherworld" is not the best they could have offered for this compilation. Including a track like "Aberration" would have better solidified their place here as one of the most aggressive on the compilation. Instead, they are trumped in this regard by Malicious Damage's "Dead Cells." The final track, Sinful Lust's "Chemical To Chemical" is memorable, though not particularly exceptional in any way. It's a bit too groovy, showing the tendency of this fatal element to ruin thrash. Final Prophecy and Royal Anguish do not do much to impress here, and their video material on the accompanying DVD is the least interesting addition to an otherwise stellar addendum to the release.
But there are the bands which rise above the rest and deserve follow up as well. Amboog-a-lard, whose track "The Wounded" opens the compilation, are potentially worthy of hoisting into the same rafters as Morbid Saint. Raped Ape are impressive if only for the structurally unique drumming of JC Dwyer who, fifteen years later, found himself appearing on Icarus Witch's Capture The Magic, a record I hold in high esteem. "Crystal Blisters", Elysium's offering meanders into noticeably unique territory for the compilation with a prolonged classically influenced tapping solo skewing the track into stand-out territory. One of the release's best tracks is the inimitable technicality of Tempus Fugit's "Kick The Wind." Twisting meandering riffs and out-of-this-world high pitched vocals give nod to obscurities in the technical thrash realm such as Watchtower's Energetic Disassembly. The track is unique to this comp, and might be the real jewel in the chest, so to speak. Fatal Sin's track is along these lines as well and also a clear favorite.
Getting to the accompanying aforementioned DVD, which it seems is a common accessory with Thrashback Records releases, we are rewarded with material which is not available online it seems which is rare these days. I counted a handful of easily discoverable clips on Youtube, however there are segments and rehearsal video not uploaded for surface dwellers. The two hour long DVD has old live material and rehearsal footage from Amboog-a-lard, Elysium, Fatal Sin, Final Prophecy, Kryptic Kurse, Raped Ape, Solstice, Sinful Lust, and Royal Anguish. As a historical document, the live footage includes a young Jeordie White, who would become famous as Marilyn Manson's bass player Twiggy Ramirez, receiving an award for best rhythm guitarist at the first annual Slammies. Even more interesting, for me, was footage of Nicko McBrain delivering the Best Drummer award to JC Dwyer of Raped Ape. Raped Ape gets some of the best quality footage - you can see sweat dripping off Mike Pucciarelli's body in some clips - but the most impressive musically here is Fatal Sin. The band, also comparing to Watchtower or even a less death-metal oriented Hellwitch, is more impressive with their two songs not on the compilation. Their live footage here inspired me to go ahead and buy their recently released full discography compilation. from Thrashback Records. Ultimately, isn't that the purpose of a compilation such as this?
On October 2, 2020 THRASHBACK RECORDS will be releasing the CD/DVD Deluxe Edition reissue “ Killing Time: Thrashed From The Vault ”. This is not a mere compilation, but an aural and visual document of when Thrash and Death Metal ruled the South Florida music scene.
Originally released in 1992 as " Unsigned 3: Killing Time " ( Stryder Records/Conquest Music Group ), this was the final release in the labels " Unsigned " series that was dedicated to South Florida acts. This was the only volume dedicated exclusively to South Florida 's thrash/speed/death metal scene.
The series was the brainchild of local studio owner Gary Stryder , who’s GLED Recording Studios was at the time the “go to” facility for many local acts to commit their music to tape. This volume was no exception, as all of the albums original tracks were recorded “ live ” to 2-track DAT (Digital Audio Tape). On the tracks where vocals could not be properly isolated, the stereo recording was then dumped to 1 inch analog tape and the vocals were then recorded and mixed to the music.
This revamped and remastered edition of " Killing Time " features nine of the twelve original tracks. The fat has bee trimmed, (so to speak) and three bonus tracks (marked by an *) keep the albums theme in tact.
" Killing Time " features such notables as Miami’s Solstice (who would sign to Germany’s Steamhammer Records a year later), West Palm Beach’s Raped Ape (later Paingod , who released an album for Century Media Records , and featured guitarist J.P. Soars who later played with Malevolent Creation & Divine Empire , and drummer J.C. Dwyer who would later join Pro-Pain ).
Ft. Lauderdale’s Amboog-A-Lard (who’s original guitarist and cofounder Jeordie White (would later join Marilyn Manson as Twiggie Ramierez ), Boca Raton’s Fatal Sin, Ft. Lauderdale’s Malicious Damage , Boca Raton’s Royal Anguish , Miami’s Kryptic Kurse , and Boca Raton’s Sinful Lust (who’s guitarist Adam Dearborn would later form the band Deadstar Assembly ).
This special release also includes a bonus DVD, an 120 minute time capsule featuring live footage from Amboog-A-Lard, Elysium, Fatal Sin, Final Prophecy, Raped Ape, Royal Anguish, Sinful Lust, and Solstice.
This 2020 reissue has been wonderfully remastered by Rob Colwell at Bombworks Sound from the original master tapes, features all new cover art by Sidjimbe Art Studios , and includes a 12-page booklet with band photo’s, archival show fliers, and “Thrash Facts” on each of the bands. This special 28th anniversary release is limited to a pressing of 300 units world wide and is the 4th release in our “ Florida Metal Archives Series ”.
Here's the link to the Raped Ape segment that is on the DVD:
Here are some singles from the compilation!
AMBOOG-A-LARD "The Wounded":
RAPED APE "Hypothermia":
- All original album tracks Recorded at GLED Recording Studios; Davie, FL by Gary Stryder & Marc Portnoy throughout 1991.
- AMBOOG-A-LARD “The Wounded” was Recorded at GLED Recording Studios; Davie, FL by Gary Stryder & Eric Hoffman in December 1994 (24-Track Analog).
Originally recorded for a 7” EP for Conquest Music Group. Released in 1997 on the compilation “Power From The Vault” (CMG). An alternate version was featured on “ Metal Massacre XII ” (1995 - Metal Blade Records )
- ROYAL ANGUISH “Retrospect” was recorded at Hid-A-Way Studios; Davie, FL by Eric Hoffman in July 1993 (8-Track Digital). Originally recorded for a split 7” EP with Baltimore, Maryland’s The Risen for A.R.T. Records . This is the tracks first release.
- FINAL PROPHECY “Through Eyes Of Fire” was recorded at Hide-A-Way Studios; Davie, FL by Jimmy Starr in May 1992 (8-Track Analog). Originally recorded for a 7” EP for A.R.T. Records. Released in 2018 on CD and Vinyl by Roxx Records (licensed from ThrashBack Records) on Final Prophecy “Re-Awakening: The Demos 1990-1992”.
1. “The Wounded” * (AMBOOG-A-LARD - Ft. Lauderdale)
2. “Hypothermia” (RAPED APE - West Palm Beach)
3. “Sadistic Pleasure” (KRYPTIC KURSE - Miami)
4. “Whatever” (F.O.S. - West Palm Beach)
5. “Crystal Blisters” (ELYSIUM - Ft. Lauderdale)
6. “Netherworld” (SOLSTICE - Miami)
7. “Kick The Wind” (TEMPUS FUGIT - Miami)
8. “Episode” (FATAL SIN - Boca Raton)
9. “Dead Cells” (MALICIOUS DAMAGE - Ft. Lauderdale)
10. “Retrospect” * (ROYAL ANGUISH - Boca Raton)
11. “Through Eyes Of Fire” * (FINAL PROPHECY - Ft. Lauderdale)
12. “Chemical To Chemical” (SINFUL LUST - Boca Raton)
Order a copy here at this link:
Follow the label on social media!
Check out more releases at the label store here!